Prince2 Re Registration: A Primer on Prince2 Renewal in 2021

When did you become a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner? Not sure? Just try and remember when you passed the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam. It does matter. Especially if you want your CV or LinkedIn profile to accurately reflect your learning and, more importantly, appear current on the Axelos Successful Candidates Register. In fact, you can use the Successful Candidates Register on the Axelos website if you don’t quite remember when you last sat your PRINCE2 Practitioner exam. If your PRINCE2 accreditation has lapsed, you should investigate PRINCE2 Practitioner renewal.

Do PRINCE2 project management certifications expire?

The good news is that both the PRINCE2 Foundation level certificate and the PRINCE2 Practitioner level certificate never expire. So, if you’ve passed either exam, no one can take the certification away from you. However, the devil is in the detail, or semantics. Whilst your certification can never expire, your PRINCE2 Practitioner registration can lapse. If your registration has lapsed, then you can no longer claim to be a PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner. This can actually be quite important, especially if you’re looking for a new project management job, trying to secure a promotion, or you’re a contractor wanting to appear current with the latest best practice. Your motivation could just be to keep the momentum going with your own continuing professional development (CPD). Remember, this distinction only applies to PRINCE2 Practitioner level registration. If you have only achieved PRINCE2 Foundation level certification, you cannot describe yourself as a Registered PRINCE2 Practitioner.

How can I check my PRINCE2 Practitioner expiration date?

When you pass your PRINCE2 exam, you should receive an eCertificate from Axelos in the form of a PDF document. This document will display the date you passed your exam and achieved practitioner status. If you have misplaced your PRINCE2 eCertificate, then you can also check the Successful Candidates Register. The register is a public record of delegates who have successfully passed PRINCE2, ITIL, MSP, and other Axelos accredited exams. However, the register is an opt-in scheme for course delegates, so you wouldn’t be listed if you didn’t agree to appear on the register.

I can’t find my certificate, and I’m not listed on the Axelos register.

Candidates would not appear on the Axelos register who opted out of the scheme when sitting the Practitioner exam. Candidates who sat the exam with PeopleCert after 1 January 2018, need to get in touch with them

A candidate who sat the practitioner exam before 2018, would not have used PeopleCert but a different Examination Institute. In this case, you should email Axelos to find out more about your Practitioner status.

Renaming PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Editions

To avoid confusion, you should also be aware that Axelos rebranded PRINCE2 in January 2020. So, it’s no longer PRINCE2 2017 but PRINCE2 6th Edition. Likewise, PRINCE2 2009 has been renamed PRINCE2 5th Edition. Don’t worry; the course materials and exam format have remained unchanged. The content of the PRINCE2 manual will remain the same and all PRINCE2 2017 certifications remain valid.

So remember, when investigating PRINCE2 re registration, or renewal, use the correct certification terminology. It’s also a good idea to update your CV to reflect these recent changes.

Is there a PRINCE2 re registration examination?

No, there is no longer a separate PRINCE2 re registration exam. Previously, with PRINCE2 2009, now PRINCE2 5th edition, a lapsed practitioner would have to sit a PRINCE2 Practitioner re registration exam to regain Practitioner status. Practitioner status expired after 5 years. The re registration exam was less rigourous than the practitioner exam. A candidate considering re registration examination would only have to sit 3 questions and complete the exam within one hour. Someone sitting the practitioner exam would have to answer 8 questions within two-and-half hours. However, the pass mark in both exams was the same, 55%, 17 marks from 30 in the re registration exam and 44 marks from 80 in the Practitioners exam..

PRINCE2 re registration has now changed, and PRINCE2 practitioners have to choose between two different methods for maintaining PRINCE2 Practitioner status.

How to maintain PRINCE2 status in 2021

The requirements for maintaining your PRINCE2 project management credentials have changed since the introduction of PRINCE2 6th Edition in 2017. When you obtain PRINCE2 6th Edition Practitioner status, you have 3 years until you have to renew. The re registration exam is no longer required, and maintaining practitioner certification relies on two different paths; re-sitting the practitioner examination or purchasing an annual subscription to MyPrince2 an Axelos membership scheme .

Choosing the Practitioner examination path is exactly as it sounds; you re-sit the two-and-half-hour exam and answer 68 multiple-choice questions. It’s an open-book exam, so you are allowed to refer to the PRINCE2 manual. If you achieve the required pass mark of 55%, or 38 of the 68 marks available, you’ll receive a shiny new practitioner certificate.

We already know you don’t need to bother with a re registration exam anymore. In a departure from previous requirements you can also opt out of re-taking the PRINCE2 Practioner examination. Instead you can subscribe to a My PRINCE2 membership. This approach favours the path of continuing professional development and by choosing this option you are committed to earning 20 CPD points each year. However, if you do choose the Axelos membership option you need to sign-up to the scheme within 3 months of passing your PRINCE2 Practitioner exam.

What are CPD Points?

CPD points, units and credits are usually interchangeable. Typically one CPD point will be equal to one hour of active learning. This means if you want to choose the membership route in maintaining your Practitioner status then you have to evidence twenty hours of active learning in your CPD portfolio each year.

Moving on from re registration

Maintaining PRINCE2 certification is arguably more flexible than ever. Although the now redundant re registration exam was less demanding, candidates now have the option of maintaining certification through the continuing professional development option.

Regardless of your situation Elite would be glad to provide advice on the best way forward if you are considering PRINCE2 Practitioner renewal. Our expertise in PRINCE2 spans decades, we run PRINCE2 courses all over the world and in 2020 Elite were awarded Sole Supplier status to the Scottish Government for Project and Programme Management learning.

Next up

Managing Successful Programmes Fifth Edition – What’s Changed and Why?

Since its launch in 1999, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) has provided best practice in structuring and delivering strategic organisational change across all business sectors. In light of experience, lessons learned, and changes in the business environment, best practice evolves. MSP has been revised several times throughout the first decade of the new century, with the fourth edition published in 2011. Since then, the digital revolution, the speed of change, the rise of agile ways of working, alongside the increased volatility and uncertainty of all markets, means that programme management must evolve to meet demands. The fifth edition reflects this changing world, published this year with the new examinations available from early 2021.

MSP fifth edition emphasises more flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness by adopting an incremental approach to the programme lifecycle and thus enabling organisational agility. A single programme or project may combine different delivery approaches, with projects using iterative (Agile), linear (Waterfall), or hybrid lifecycles or continual improvement activities.

The new manual is structured using a similar design template as PRINCE2 2017 with 7 Principles, 7 Themes (previously 9) and 7 Processes (previously 6 Transformational Flow processes).

The seven principles are the driving requirements continually required to achieve value from programme management and underpin all of the themes.

The seven themes identify key programme organisational roles, responsibilities and information needed to:

  • Design a Vision and Target Operating Model to communicate the organisation’s desired future operational state to all stakeholders;
  • Justify and fund the programme through robust business cases and effective benefits management and realisation;
  • Structure programme strategy and plans to deliver capability that can embed outcomes of benefit into the evolving operational services of the organisation; and
  • Provide timely decisions to facilitate project and business change delivery based on relevant and accurate information, knowledge and a robust assurance regime.

The seven processes provide a route through the programme lifecycle with an emphasis on the incremental nature of a programme enabling a cyclical progression towards the desired future state. The methods still provide a controlled start and endpoint for the programme. Within the delivery processes, however, desired business outcomes are designed, planned, and embedded through cyclical tranches of benefit-enabling capabilities. The ends of tranches are “landing points” where progress towards strategic objectives, and new information in the emerging external context, can be assessed and decisions to continue with, or close, the programme made.

Exam Changes

MSP fifth edition now supports only two levels of qualification, Foundation and Practitioner.

Again, the PRINCE2 design influence has resulted in the one-hour, closed-book, Foundation exam becoming 60 questions, needing 33 correct answers to pass the exam and demonstrate a broad knowledge of the MSP method.

The scenario-based Practitioner exam tests candidates’ ability to analyse and justify the application of MSP in different circumstances. 2 hours and 30 minutes is allowed in the open book exam to attempt 70 questions, of which 38 questions answered correctly results in a pass. There are now only two types of exam question but they still probe deep knowledge of the MSP method and demonstrate candidates’ readiness to apply the new concepts and skills in the workplace.

Further Reading


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